Margo Chevers
Northeast Leadership

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How to get UP On a down day

Stop The B.S.

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

The Chevers Report February, 2008

Grab your opportunities

Last week I had a day that was filled with calamity. I started out by discovering I had water in the cellar. No time to deal with that, I had to take the kids to daycare. I ran out the door with two kids in tow and sped to daycare. Of course, that’s the day the police were waiting by the side of the road for people like me. I had no excuse and when he asked for my license, I groaned, I had left it at home.

After I dropped the kids off, as I drove home (going the speed limit), my car started to buck. Oh no, why me? Why today? How would I handle this too?

I got home and started to bail out the cellar. After all morning down in the basement, I came up for some light therapy and remembered I hadn’t called the auto repair shop. When I got a hold of them they said they couldn’t take the car in for two days.  I described the symptoms and they said not to drive it too much.

I made an appointment and thought perhaps I should find another repair shop to fix it sooner. A call to a friend got me the name of a repair shop almost across the street from the place I usually use. My inquiry to them netted me a prompt, “bring it in and we’ll take a look at it.”

I hopped into my car and drove the 15 miles to the repair shop. They were set up similar to service departments I’d visited during my consulting with Ford dealerships. During my 20 minute wait, I was in a warm room with a TV and comfortable chairs.

The technician let me know they would be able to fix it, and explained what he thought at that time was part of the problem. I had mice that had set up housekeeping under the hood and they had eaten through some of my wires. But, he thought it was a more serious problem. Could I bring it back in the morning. I’d still get it taken care of a full day sooner than my usual garage.

I dropped off the car and was given a ride home – a 15 mile ride. As we pulled into the driveway, I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’d forgotten to take my house keys off my key ring.  I voiced this out loud and the driver said, “no problem, we’ll just go back and get them.”  He assured me that I wasn’t the first person who had done that.

The next call I got from the repair shop was from Mike, the service advisor, telling me exactly what was wrong and what it would cost me. He went over everything in detail so I wouldn’t have any surprises when it came time to pay the bill.

When he called to let me know my car was fixed, I reminded him I needed a ride. Mike told me that all the drivers were out at the moment. I would have to wait for someone to come in. For the next hour and a half, I received quarter-hour updates from Mike on the status of my ride.  He said he didn’t want me to think he’d forgotten me.

When the car was returned, it was Mike who delivered it. He went over my bill with me as well as what had been done to the car. They didn’t exceed the original estimate and he left saying that if I had any problems, to call them and they’d take care of it.

I’d forgotten how it makes you feel to have service that leaves no questions in your mind. I’d forgotten how it feels when you don’t know what is going on and someone takes the initiative to keep you informed. I’d forgotten how stupid you can feel when you make a mistake (leaving keys behind) and someone assures you it’s okay and that others have done it. I’d forgotten what a difference it makes to receive service that exceeds your expectations. I had been taken from frustration at having so many things happen in one day to be delighted with the service I received from this repair shop.

Guess where I’ll take my car the next time it needs servicing? This was an opportunity for this repair shop to capture another customer.

Every day we open our doors is another opportunity to attract, retain and impress a customer.  Are you grabbing your opportunities?


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© 2007 Margo Chevers


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